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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > F53 OWNERS - Tips & Suggestions

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NAUTIQUE

SOUTHEASTERN MA.

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Joined: 03/30/2005

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Posted: 03/30/07 08:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, as new owner of an 1999 F53, I'm finding that there is a lot to learn about this chassis .
I've always been a Ford truck fan and so far I'd say that the F53 is still a good solid base.
But it seems like you've got to accept that - "it is what it is" - a truck chassis!
It's never gonna ride like a Caddy!
Overall, it seems like most items are treatable & can be lived with.

I thought it would be good to get a thread going that'll consolidate a lot of the F53 items in one place.(Hope this hasn't already been done? Would be a great sticky!)
Thanks to many knowledgeable people here at RV.net (especially BillArf & Dford) & many more at FTE (Great V10 info.),
Here's what I've run into so far:

Some good Ford Links:
Ford VIN's decoder
Ford TSB's
Chassis Info.
The popular Ford TSB's I've run into so far:
TSB#00-21-9 * Suspension/Vibrations.
I installed new Tires & Shocks. My Tire guy had a real tough time!
TSB#01-10-5 * Oil Level Indicator.
Dipstick is wrong! - Only use 6 qts oil!
You can get a new "T-Handle" dipstick from Ford.
Simple fix - Drill tiny hole @ half full mark & file cross-hatch.
TSB#02-11-3 * 4R100 Tranny Hard/Eratic shifting.
Powertrain Control Module (PCM) gets bad info from Speed Sensor.
Ford has a new ground cable that is added to PCM.
Cost me +/- $160 installed by Ford Truck Center.

Other important items:
* The dreaded "Spitting Plugs"!
Caused by bad plug install (only 4 threads hold these plugs in) and/or dis-similar metal (head/plug) reaction.
Manageable!:
Get the newer Platinum Plugs, use ant-seize, & torque correctly!
Great Plug Change Info w/ pics here
(If you do spit a plug, still manageable, search FTE for timeserts.)
* The Hidden 9th Lube Point! BillArf's Great Pic/Diagram
* Check your Parking Brake Reservoir! Another great BillArf Pic.
* The Ford V10 seems to like Motorcraft parts!
(Spark Plugs, 5w20 or 5w30 Oil, Oil Filter, ect.)

On my 30' Landau, I just went with Sumitomo ST718's (225/70R19.5) & Bilstien shocks (no other suspension add-ons).
On the normal roads & highways it is riding great! No bounce, truck sway, or tilting. Feels very stable!
On those Northeast Pot-Hole roads it's still pretty rough though. (But, I think that's just the F53 and ya gotta live with it?)

Keep Sharing Info! - That's what makes these Forums so great & so helpful!


Our Portable Summer Cottage II : 2000 GBM LANDAU on 1999 F53 chassis
Sumitomo ST718's,Bilstein's,Steer-Safe,UltraTrac
& Aventa II pulling a 97TJ
- Pics & Mods * GBM Thread * F53 Thread
The Crew: Lovely Wife,2 Daughters & Springer Spaniel!
LIFE IS GOOD!


bigdog2

Harrison,Arkansas ( San Felipe, Baja Ca. Mex.)

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Posted: 03/30/07 09:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nautique, take your checkbook and go test drive an rv on the '06 chassis. I can only compare this to the only other rv we had ( '97 Ford E450 ) but I have been in the drivers seat of many trucks. This 06 GBM Pursuit handles well.


LOW net worth.........HIGH quality of life
Dudley is at the rainbow bridge
Sonney,old ,retired Roadway driver.
Donna, too young to retire, she quit.


2006 GBM Pursuit 3500 DS
2004 Tracker toad- toad's toad VW powered buggy


Avatab

Pembroke, Mass.

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Joined: 01/07/2005

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Posted: 03/30/07 10:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nautique, Thanks for starting this topic. I agree that it should be a "sticky" for all of us F53 chassis owners. Which Ford Truck Center do you go to? The Ford dealers near me will not service RV's. This is my second V10 and I would have no problem buying a third for my next one.

I would recommend F53 owners to get their RV weighed, then set the tire pressure accordingly, makes a BIG difference in ride quality. When I put on my new Goodyears they were inflated to the max 110lbs and rode very hard. Had it weighed and was able to lower to 80psi... MUCH better


Steve
99 Itasca Suncruiser 32 V10
97 Jeep Wrangler TJ

Trying to be Type B in my Class A


NAUTIQUE

SOUTHEASTERN MA.

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Posted: 03/30/07 10:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bigdog2 -
Believe me, my checkbooks been taken away after buying the 2000 GBM at the end of last year. But I'm pretty much where I'd thought I'd be $ wise. Got a good deal on the rig & planned on going thru it: RearView Monitor, New Tires, Shocks, Belts, Hoses, Fluids, ect. Doing the Oil/Filter/Lube & Spark Plugs this weekend and then she should be in tip-top shape!
Don't get me wrong, Mine handles real well.
Cruising along w/ one hand isn't a problem. It's just the real rough roads that are a little tough.
Avatab -
I used Colony Truck Ctr in Warwick RI. Good service & open 24hrs.
Right now I've got the Sumitomo's @ 95 PSI. Hope to find a scale on the way down to Myrtle Beach in a couple weeks. Then I'll adjust accordingly.

* This post was edited 03/31/07 05:33am by NAUTIQUE *

FreedomsGuardian

Grand Rapids MI

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Joined: 03/04/2005

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Posted: 03/30/07 11:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Along with tires, belts and hoses, don't forget the other rubber pieces. Fuel injected engines put a lot of pressure on fuel lines and constant exposure to gasoline make these dry out from the inside. When they go it can make for big, big fire!

Brake lines and brake piston dust boots.

While not nearly as important for safety, but still nice to have working: windshield washer hoses and storage compartment door gaskets.


Happy Travels!

beaufam

Bangor Maine

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Posted: 04/01/07 08:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great topic! I have already learned something and can't wait to learn more

Mark


1999 Bounder 32H
F-53 V-10
Towing 2000 CRV, Falcon tow bar, Brake Buddy

It gets terrible mileage for a car, but gets great mileage for a house!

Family Motto
Gotta Get Away


John Wayne

Long Beach, Ca

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Posted: 04/01/07 02:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Add a Bank's Trans command recommend by ford at there FMCA rally talks. Also install a Trans external oil filter NAPA (magnefine) 1-8514 goes in the 3/8" Dia. return line, has been added in the 2006 models.


John & Carol Life members
01 31'Sea View single slide, F53 V-10
96 Toyota 4-Runner auto 4x4 (Remco, M&G brake system)
Security by Bentley
God Bless

KF6HCH


Harvard

51.6N 114.7W

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Posted: 04/01/07 02:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had to replace the passenger side exhaust manifold studs on our 99 F53 at 60,000 miles. Did it myself and cost only $150.00 (or so) which included some new tools from Sears etc.

submustang

Southern Oregon

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Posted: 04/01/07 03:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had a 95 (460 V8). Added Banks after the second round of broken manafold studs and broken head, Trans command and Bilstein shocks. The Banks made a big difference in power, the Bilsteins negligible difference in ride or handling.


2002 Tradewinds LTC
2004 Toyota Tundra Doublecab Toad
2008 Suzuki Boulevard C50T
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The Buckeye Nuts

Warsaw, Coshocton Co., OH

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Posted: 04/01/07 08:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 1999 F53 with the V10 engine. The air filter can inhale water when driving during a heavy rain. Ford did not do a recall, but does make a fix for this. The part costs about $65.

I also learned that it is best to take the Motorhome to an authorized Ford RV service center for chassis work (if you are going to pay someone to do a repair), instead of the motorhome manufacturer. Call Ford Motorhome Customer Service Center at 800-444-3311 to find the nearest RV service facility.

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